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September 2016

Sheriff warns about unlicensed contractors

09/07/16 http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-pasco/new-port-richey/sheriff-warns-about-unlicensed-contractors

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. – As the damage from Hurricane Hermineis assessed, Sheriff Chris Nocco is warning homeowners with damage to watch out for unlicensed contractors and scam artists.

“People from out of state know that Florida got hit with this hurricane, so they’re going to try to take advantage of the situation.” He said. “They’re going to come in, we’re going to get over loaded with unlicensed contractors, above and beyond what are already here.”

The Sheriff says there haven’t been any reports of unlicensed contractors yet, but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

August 2016


The Importance of Hiring a Licensed Contractor

08/10/16 http://theapopkavoice.com/

From The Orange County Consumer Fraud Division. No matter the reason or the season, from remodeling projects to gearing up for hurricane season in Orange County, protecting yourself from fraudulent contractors can save you from unnecessary headaches and expenses. Homeowners around the nation face the same risks when searching for someone to do repair work or remodeling on their homes. Unsuspecting Orange County consumers can be easy prey for unlicensed contractors whose bids are almost inevitably much lower than the bids of licensed contractors.


AC contractor working without license charged with ripping off Villagers

08/29/2016 https://www.villages-news.com/ac-contractor-working-without-license-charged-ripping-off-villagers/

THE VILLAGES, Fla. - An air conditioning contractor working without a contractor’s license, has been charged with ripping off two Villages homeowners. Christopher Michael Romanenko, 39, of Fruitland Park, has been arrested on two Sumter County warrants charging him with grand theft from persons 65 or older.
Romanenko is alleged to have contracted with two customers in February and May to install new AC systems. He collected advance payments from the victims in the amounts of $1,300 and $1,700, never returning to perform the agreed-upon work.


Hollywood code officers go undercover to find illegal home renovations

08/29/2016 http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-code-gotcha-hollywood-20160828-story.html

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Thecaveat for those in the market for a new home has always been "buyer beware," but in Hollywood, it might also be "seller, beware."

City code officers posing as potential homebuyers are checking properties to see if they were remodeled without the proper permits. The crackdown began after the city received 30 complaints — and officers quickly found five violators. They were given 60 days to come into compliance or face fines of up to $500 a day.

Hollywood officials say they are trying to protect consumers from shoddy, unsafe work. Faulty electrical wiring could cause a fire, experts say, and poor plumbing could lead to a flood.


July 2016


NBC2 Investigators: Tools available to help sidestep construction fraud

07/08/16 http://www.nbc-2.com/

Information is available to help consumers avoid being scammed by construction fraudsters. A roofer with an unpaid judgement in Tampa opened up shop in Cape Coral. Homeowner Dicque Walz was left hanging after her $900 deposit was never returned and her roof never fixed.


June 2016


Florida warns of vacation scams: Visit Florida reported 4% increase in tourists in first quarter of 2016
6/27/16 http://www.news4jax.com/

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - With tourism hitting record numbers in the Sunshine State, vacation and travel plans become even more popular in the summer months. Visit Florida recently reported an increase of more than four percent in tourists in the first quarter of 2016. The Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) encourages Floridians and visitors to be on guard for common scams involving vacation and travel plans.


DBPR Participates in the 2016 “Build Your Bucket” Event

6/22/16 http://www.myfloridalicense.com/

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) partnered with local and state agencies, as well as the Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross to participate in the “Build Your Bucket” event on Saturday, June 18, 2016. The event provided 250 local residents with natural disaster buckets and information to help them prepare in case of a natural disaster.


8 charged in unlicensed contractor sting in Polk County

6/21/16 http://wfla.com/

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Police busted eight men in an undercover sting that focused on unlicensed contractors. Only 8 On Your Side rode along with police as they took these suspects into custody. Investigators say they advertised their ability to perform wide-ranging plumbing and electrical work without proper licenses or training. All but one had no worker’s compensation coverage to protect their employees in the event of an accident or injury.


Lakeland Police Department: 7 arrested in multi-agency sting

6/21/16 http://www.theledger.com/

LAKELAND — A three-day, four-agency undercover sting led to the arrest of seven men this week, accused of performing a wide-range of plumbing and electrical work without proper licenses or training, according to Lakeland Police Department reports.


BBB & DBPR team up again to combat unlicensed activity in Florida

6/13/16 http://www.bbb.org/

Clearwater, FL – With Unlicensed Activity Awareness Week occuBBB & DBPR Partnershiprring June 13 – 17, Better Business Bureau (BBB) and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) are teaming up again to remind Floridians to thoroughly research professionals and businesses prior to hiring and to report any suspected unlicensed activity.


An undercover sting by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office ended in 12 unlicensed contractors nabbed

6/2/16 http://www.abcactionnews.com/

CITRUS COUNTY, Fl - A three day undercover sting by the Citrus County Sheriff's Office ended in 12 unlicensed contractors facing charges. The sting was a joint operation by the Sheriff's Office and Department of Business and Professional Regulation.


Hurricane season is here

6/2/16 http://www.greenepublishing.com/

This past Wednesday, June 1, marked the start of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season, which forecasters predict will be the most active since 2012.


Consumers urged to use licensed professionals for repairs after hurricane damage: verify contractor's license at www.myfloridalicense.com

6/1/16 http://www.clickorlando.com/

The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season begins on June 1, and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is urging consumers to research anyone that could make any repairs to their home or business in the event of a natural disaster.


May 2016

As part of Hurricane Preparedness Week May 15 – 21, BBB and DBPR team up to prepare Floridians

5/18/16 http://www.bbb.org/

Better Business Bureau (BBB) is teaming up with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to celebrate National Hurricane Preparedness Week by encouraging Floridians to create a plan that outlines what to do before, during and after a hurricane.


Operation Freelancer III Nabs Unlicensed Contractors

5/23/16 http://www.sarasotasheriff.org/

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested nine people on multiple charges during Operation Freelancer III, an investigation to protect citizens from unlicensed contractors.


April 2016


Undercover sting leads to 10 fraud arrests in Manatee County
4/1/2016 http://www.myfloridacfo.com/

Palmetto, Fla. – The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) today announced 10 arrests following a multi-agency undercover workers’ compensation sting in Manatee County.


March 2016


DBPR Issues Consumer Advisory Warning of Unlicensed Contractors in St. Johns County

3/15/16 www.myfloridalicense.com

St. Johns, Fla.– The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today issued a consumer advisory after the Division of Regulation successfully conducted a sting operation targeting unlicensed individuals in the St. Johns County area.


January 2016


'Operation Drop the Hammer' nets nine arrests

1/22/16 http://www.news4jax.com/

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - The Clay County Sheriff’s Office arrested nine unlicensed contractors Friday during 'Operation Drop the Hammer.'


Storm Damage Repairs: Don’t fall victim to ‘storm chasers’, shady contractors

1/19/16 www.http://wfla.com/

TAMPA BAY, Fla. — The Better Business Bureau is warning local residents affected by the recent storms to beware of “storm chasers” and out-of-town contractors soliciting business.


Seniors vs. Crime: Low-ball offer? Don't play ball

1/5/16 www.http://jacksonville.com/

Seniors vs. Crime is a special project that uses the force of the State Attorney General’s Office and volunteers to help educate and protect seniors from harmful activity.


December 2015


DBPR sting turns up 11 unlicensed workers

12/24/15 http://www.gainesville.com/

Following a state Department of Business and Professional Regulation sting targeting unlicensed electrical and construction workers in Alachua County, the agency earlier this week released a list of unlicensed workers to avoid.


DBPR issues consumer advisory warning of unlicensed individuals (12.22.15)

12/22/15 www.myfloridalicense.com

High Springs, Fla. – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today issued a consumer advisory after the Division of Regulation successfully conducted a sting operation targeting unlicensed individuals in the Alachua County area.


November 2015


State regulatory agency conducts construction sting in Okaloosa County (11.20.15)

11/20/15 www.myfloridalicense.com

SHALIMAR, Fla. – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) partnered with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, Okaloosa County Code Enforcement, Florida Department of Insurance Fraud, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Department of Workers Compensation to conduct a joint sting operation November 18-19 targeting unlicensed contractors in the Shalimar area.


Sting operation nabs unlicensed contractors

11/20/15 www.nwfdailynews.com

The Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office conducted a sting operation this week that resulted in the arrest of 11 unlicensed contractors for performing services without a state-issued license.


September 2015


Unlicensed contractor arrested after investigation

09/09/15 www.local10.com

During a Miami-Dade police economic crimes bureau undercover operation, 12 individuals were netted for performing unlicensed contracting services that require a state-issued license.


August 2015


Scam-proofing your home after a storm

8/20/2015 www.local10.com

After a big storm, some unscrupulous roofers will talk homeowners into a new roof after they manufacture damage. Consumers should remember the red flags to look for if a contractor claims your roof has damage.


08/17/2015 www.news4jax.com

The Department of Business and Professional Regulation issued a warning Monday about unlicensed contractors in the Lake City area and conducted a sting operation for the contractors, who were issued cease-and-desist orders after they offered to perform electrical and construction services that require a state-issued professional license.


Gov. Scott declares state of emergency for five North, Central Florida areas

08/06/15 www.news.wfsu.org

Following the heavy rainfall over the weekend, Emergency management officials were forced to issue a mandatory evacuation order due to the major flooding in the Tampa Bay area. Governor Rick Scott even recently visited the area.


Be wary of scams following floods, Florida officials warn

08/04/15 www.palmbeachpost.com

The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is warning Floridians to be wary of contractors working without a license in the wake of natural disasters, such as Tampa's recent flooding.


July 2015


Ask Mr. Handyman: Licensed and insured claims need to be verified

07/30/15 www.jacksonville.com

Articles in newspapers such as this one, morning TV shows and other sources urge homeowners to make certain that home service providers are "licensed and insured." Given this common knowledge, advertising, vehicles and business cards often represent that a company is both "Licensed & Insured." I'd like to help you understand why this is important, and how folks try to skirt the intent of this recommendation.


6 things to know about air-condition repair

07/23/15 www.clickorlando.com

With Florida's hot summers, home air-conditioning units are getting a work out, but when it's time for a repair, be careful who you call.


June 2015


Sting catches unlicensed contractors in Jacksonville

06/29/15 www.news4jax.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Finding a good contractor to work on a home that needs repairs can be quite challenging, especially when there are some unlicensed contractors willing to take advantage of homeowners. In an effort to cut down on the number of unlicensed contractors trying to work in the Jacksonville area, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, along with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Financial Services, performed an undercover sting operation to nab some of these contractors.


Dangers of Hiring an Unlicensed Professional

06/29/15 www.jcfloridian.com

Most professions in Florida are regulated by a state, county and/or city license. Unlicensed professionals typically lack the proper qualifications required of a license and will bid a price much lower than that of a licensed professional just to get the job. Don't be fooled by an estimate that seems too good to be true!


Police crack down, warn homeowners to beware of unlicensed contractors

06/17/15 www.tampabay.com

ST. PETERSBURG - The air-conditioning system wasn't working, but it wasn't exactly broken either. Police had removed the AAA batteries from the thermostat, rendering it temporarily useless. The empty house heated up as undercover investigators waited for contractor after contractor - all solicited on Craigslist - to bid on different projects. There were plumbers and electricians, kitchen renovators and, of course, a refrigeration specialist.


Spike in unlicensed contracting complaints leads to undercover sting operation in St. Pete

06/17/15 www.abcactionnews.com

Gregory Dearinger told me he doesn't know why the cops arrested him. But St. Petersburg detectives say they have undercover video of Dearinger, who doesn't have a contractor's license, bidding on plumbing and electrical work. The arrests made over the past two days began with a sting operation in May.


BBB: Beware of storm-chasing contractors

06/17/15 www.news4jax.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Better Business Bureau warns that the aftermath of a hurricane can bring out contractors who take advantage of those who have already been victimized by the storm. It is not uncommon for out-of-town storm chasers to solicit business after a major weather event, the BBB says.


State, BBB, urge consumers to check business licenses before hiring

06/16/15 www.palmbeachpost.com

Is the building contractor you're hiring licensed? Along with a couple of dozen other categories and occupations, such as those who sell alcoholic beverages, yachts and real estate, building contractors must have a state license. As part of Unlicensed Activity Awareness Week June 15-19, the Better Business Bureau and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation are reminding Floridians to thoroughly research professionals and business prior to hiring and to report suspected unlicensed individuals.


JSO: Contractor sought in crooked roofing scheme

06/09/15 www.firstcoastnews.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Police are looking for a Jacksonville roofing contractor accused of duping elderly victims out of cash and never performing the repair work he promised, authorities said Tuesday. Goran Popovic, 44, is accused of targeting several people with the same scheme: taking money from unsuspecting victims in exchange for roof repairs, but never actually completing the work. Popovic is wanted for schemes to defraud, a felony, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.


May 2015


Contractors using another company's license to get business

05/13/15 www.local10.com

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - Marsha Seidman called Local 10 News investigative reporter Christina Vazquez after she felt she was swindled by two contractors who installed windows in her Century Village home. The men from Bruna Enclosures, who identified themselves as Chuck and Larry, told Seidman she would not need a permit for the windows in her screen enclosure, but it turns out she did.


April 2015


Action News Investigates: State Attorney investigates St. Johns modular home company

04/24/15 www.fox30jax.com

St. Johns County, Fla. - A couple put their trust in a local home builder, but was left having to dip into their retirement to stay afloat. Now, the president of a St. Augustine modular home company may soon face criminal charges. Randy Heath, 62, said he wants what he paid for, a home where he could live with his wife, sons and in-laws.


Tattoo removal gone awry lands man in jail

04/16/15 www.tallahassee.com

Linda Long wanted to have a tattoo of a rose removed from her ankle. But things didn't go as planned. After undergoing the Rejuvi Eraze process by an employee at Kim's Skin Care Studio of Tallahassee, the site of the procedure, her small tattoo became infected and was not removed. Long's story, which she blogged about, is one of a half dozen connected to the arrest of 40-year-old David B. Coppedge Tuesday by Leon County Sheriff's Office on five counts of practicing medicine without a license.


Monkey C-Section Abortions Performed by Non-Veterinarians

04/08/15 theirturn.net

Primate Products, a monkey breeding company at the center of the MonkeyGate scandal in Hendry County, Florida, assigned invasive surgeries to vet techs instead of veterinarians - in violation of state law. David Roebuck, a former employee at the Florida company, told Their Turn that vet techs performed C-section abortions on pregnant monkeys so that they company could sell the fetal organs and the mother's milk.


March 2015


Ways to avoid roof-repair scams

03/30/15 www.news4jax.com

Even if you do everything right, a storm or accident could require you to hire a professional. Find three local companies with solid reputations and ask for detailed quotes. Make sure you study each one carefully so you understand the scope of all three bids. Hicks warns homeowners to steer clear of anyone going door-to-door in your neighborhood after a storm. They often do shoddy work and aren't around for any follow-up issues.


Jacksonville woman scammed out of thousands of dollars

03/11/15 www.news4jax.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Grove Park woman said she was scammed by a contractor who took her money and never came back. Donna Zamalloa hired alleged contractor Jeff Markant to do some improvements on her kitchen. She said she paid Markant $12,000 for the renovations, but her kitchen was left in disarray. "I started feeling a little weird because more money was needed, and I didn't want to make any qualms about it and I didn't want to start yelling at him until everything was finished," said Zamalloa.


Lithia homeowner paid in full, left waiting for company to finish backyard

03/11/15 www.wfla.com

After 25 years in the army, Marc Debearn and his wife bought a home in Lithia. They hired a local company, New Age Hardscapes, Inc., to create a gorgeous backyard and outdoor kitchen. But now the Debearns are in a bind. New Age Hardscapes, Inc., hasn't showed up in weeks to finish the job. Company owner Joshua Brown claims he hasn't had the money to finish this work.


February 2015


Unlicensed contractors not welcome in Pasco County

02/25/15 lakerlutznews.com

Pasco County is cracking down on unlicensed contractors who leave residents on the hook for shoddy work, or who take the money and run without doing the job. County officials and the Pasco Sheriff's Office joined forces in October to launch a pilot program aimed at protecting consumers from unscrupulous contractors. Licensed contractors also lobbied for tougher actions against competitors who don't follow the rules, county officials said.


Unlicensed contractors under fire in Central Florida

02/24/15 www.clickorlando.com

ORLANDO -- When Brittany and Dan Brown of Seminole County took bids for a home addition project in the fall of 2013 they were convinced that they had the right contractor for the job. The job was never completed, however. Ben David McCoy of McCoy Construction Projects Inc. told the couple that he was licensed and experienced and would complete the 240-square-foot addition in six weeks, the Browns said. He presented a state license number, and they handed him $15,000 for materials and construction. Last year the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), issued a cease and desist notice to McCoy for operating without a state license.


Manatee County Commission votes to ban unlicensed contracting

02/24/15 www.bradenton.com

MANATEE -- Unlicensed contracting is now officially prohibited in Manatee County, making the county consistent with state law. Manatee County Commission unanimously approved the new ordinance in a public hearing at its Tuesday meeting.


DBPR issues consumer advisory warning of unlicensed contractors in Pensacola


PENSACOLA, Fla. - The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) today issued a consumer advisory after the Division of Regulation successfully conducted a sting operation targeting unlicensed contractors in the Pensacola area. The unlicensed individuals were issued Notices to Cease and Desist for offering to perform electrical and construction services that require a state-issued professional license.


Broward County man arrested for targeting South Florida seniors with contractor scam

02/16/15 www.nbcmiami.com

A Broward County man who swindled senior citizens out of money by posing as a contractor is under arrest, officials say. This is the second arrest for Niraj Sethi in less than a month on similar charges, according to the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud. Sethi was first arrested as a part of an undercover sting in Tamarac in January. At that time, Sethi was found to be contracting work without a license and operating without workers' compensation insurance.


11 arrested in undercover sting targeting unlicensed contractors in Manatee

02/14/15 www.bradenton.com

MANATEE, Fla. - An undercover sting operation targeting unlicensed contractors and contractors without workers' compensation insurance in Manatee County resulted in 11 arrests, the Florida Department of Financial Services said Friday. The three-day operation was a multi-agency effort that included the Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Holmes Police Department and manatee County Code Enforcement.


Builder accused of scamming a couple out of $80,000 confronted

02/13/15 www.actionnewsjax.com

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A builder accused of scamming $80,000 from a couple was tracked down by Action News. Jack and Donna Cheek handed over $80,000 to have  their retirement home built. The Cheeks said that last May they wrote the check to Marvin Lenhart of Lenhart Log Cabins Inc. and their home was supposed to be built in August 2014. However, a lawsuit filed by the couple says Lenhart left town, cashing the check in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


Tracking down Tampa Bay's shady contractors

02/05/15 www.wfla.com

TAMPA, Fla. - Jane and Dennis Thomas say contractor Michael Baker made a good impression on them when they first approached him to build a bedroom addition onto their rural home in Citrus County through his company Bake Construction & Management, LLC. They just happened to see the sign on his truck during a visit to Ocala and gave him a call. The Thomas' say they did some cursory background checks and didn't uncover any red flags, so they signed a deal October 10 for Baker to build a $65,920 master bedroom and bathroom addition.

Boca Raton woman says contractor walked off job

02/02/15 www.local10.com

BOCA RATON, Fla. - When Susan Sabatino saw a "Call Christina" investigation about a contractor walking out on an older couple, the story was all too familiar. "(It was) exactly to the letter what he had said to me," she said, referencing Alejandro Morlans of Alex Millwork, Inc. "My heart -- you're hurting my heart. You're a terrible person. I'm a good person.' He was demented."


January 2015


17 Unlicensed contractors caught in Broward County sting


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) participated in a multi-agency undercover sting operation on January 21 – 22 targeting unlicensed contractors in Broward County. Working together with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Broward County Licensing Investigations & Enforcement and the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud, investigators identified 17 unlicensed contractors who were allegedly offering estimates for contracting services which require a Florida license.


Unlicensed contracting investigation in Brevard nets four arrests

01/16/15 www.floridatoday.com

MELBOURNE, Fla. - An investigation conducted by a host of agencies produced four arrests on Thursday. According to a release from the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, the BCSO Economics Crime Unit along with the Board of County Commissioners Planning & Development, the Florida Workers' Compensation Fraud Division and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, conducted a two-day investigation targeting unlicensed contractors in Brevard County on Wednesday and Thursday.


Sheriff's Operation Targets Unlicensed Contractors

01/16/15 www.spacecoastdaily.com

BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - Over the past two days, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office Economics Crimes Unit partnered with the Board of County Commissioners Planning & Development, the Florida Workers' Compensation Fraud Division and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) to conduct a county-wide investigation to identify and address unlicensed contractors.


December 2014


Unlicensed contractor leaves New Port Richey woman in a mess

12/10/14 www.wfla.com

NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (WFLA) - A New Port Richey woman is outraged that her insurance company paid $39,000 for repairs to her kitchen, and now the company she thought she paid placed a lien against her for nonpayment. A small fire ruined Michelle Bell's kitchen in April, so she hired MIT Restoration LLC to repair it.


Handyman ruins remodeling job, family's holiday spirit

12/5/14 www.firstcoastnews.com

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. - A Clay County family hired a handyman to remodel their home and what he did is less than expected. "He did not complete the work," said Connie Croston. "He left a mess." In October, Croston hired the unlicensed contractor based on a recommendation from her lawn service; not unusual but now she knows it was not the best practice.


44 unlicensed contractors issued Notices to Cease and Desist in recent sting operations


The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) participated in three multi-agency undercover sting operations targeting unlicensed contractors in Miami Gardens, Pasco County and Sarasota. Investigators identified a total of 44 unlicensed contractors who were allegedly offering estimates for contracting services which require a Florida license.


November 2014


11 people accused of working as unlicensed contractors in Pasco

tbo.com 11/24/14

NEW PORT RICHEY — The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office on Monday announced that 11 people posing as contractors have been arrested in a recent sting.


Unlicensed contractor sting comes with warning from deputies

www.lakerlutznews.com 11/24/14

PASCO COUNTY - A two-day sting between the Pasco County Sheriff's Office and some state regulatory agencies have put 11 people behind bars they say were unlicensed contractors in the county.


Miami Gardens sting snares 14 unlicensed individuals


MIAMI - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) participated in a multi-agency undercover sting operation on November 20-21 targeting unlicensed contractors in the Miami Gardens area. Investigators identified 14 unlicensed contractors who were allegedly offering estimates for contracting services which require a Florida license.


20 arrested in unlicensed contractor sting

www.heraldtribune.com 11/18/14

SARASOTA COUNTY - Twenty people were arrested in a recent Sarasota County Sheriff's Office investigation targeting unlicensed contractors. Called Operation Freelancer, the investigation was conducted Nov. 13 - 15, according to the Sheriff's Office.


State: Craigslist plumber breaking the law

www.clickorlando.com 11/10/14

OVIEDO, Fla. - The owner of an Oviedo plumbing company has been operating without a license in Central Florida at least since 2011 and is now facing "escalated enforcement" by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, along with possible criminal charges and fines.


October 2014


PD: 6 arrested in Volusia County unlicensed contracting sting

www.wesh.com 10/03/2014

Orange City, Fla. - Six men are accused of running an illegal contracting business in Volusia County, according to the Orange City Police Department. Three law enforcement agencies worked together to arrest the men allegedly performing unlicensed contracting work, police said.


September 2014


Man accused of defrauding 25 condo owners in Lake Park

www.sun-sentinel.com 9/12/2014

LAKE PARK, Fla. -- An unlicensed contractor has been arrested on charges he defrauded 25 condo residents out of more than $100,000, according to a Palm Beach County sheriff's arrest report.


Anthony Violi, 47, of Royal Palm Beach, was taken into custody Wednesday after an investigator said residents at Lake Harbour Towers in lake Park paid for impact windows that were never installed.


State regulatory agency conducts construction sting in Jacksonville


The Department of Business and Professional Regulation Jacksonville Investigative Office conducted an undercover sting operation on September 11 – 15 targeting unlicensed contractors. Nine individuals provided estimates for construction and/or electrical services that they do not hold the proper license to perform.


August 2014


Contractor questioned over spotty record

www.wtsp.com 8/28/2014

TAMPA, Fla. -- A Bay area man has a pattern of money and leaving customers, and other contractors, in a bind, according to 10 News. Jeremy Howden tells 10 News there are a lot of reasons why he's had problems with his jobs, from financial woes to issues with other construction workers.


Unlicensed contractors "nailed" in Operation Freeloader

8/15/14 www.news-press.com

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Lee County's growing construction activity may be good for builders and remodelers but for 14 unlicensed contractors from Lee and Collier counties it was a bad time to place an ad for work. The Lee County Sheriff's Office Economic Crimes Unit conducted a three-day sting targeting unlicensed contractors. It began Tuesday at a home in San Carlos Park.


July 2014


Scams Galore

www.flanews.com 7/11/14

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - There are plenty of scam artists trying to take advantage of people around the state this summer.


Property Improvements and the 'Contractor'

www.thedestinlog.com 7/18/14

DESTIN, Fla. - If you pay someone to improve your home, either by tearing part of it down, improving an existing structure or building an addition, that person or entity is generally considered to be acting as a "Contractor" by the Florida Construction Licensing Board.


June 2014


Unlicensed contractors arrested in Venice sting, police report

www.heraldtribune.com 6/20/14

Venice, Fla -Sixteen unlicensed contractors were arrested were arrested during a three-day undercover sting operation that ended Thursday, police report.


When hurricanes come, don't get scammed

The Laker/Lutz News 6/2/14

Land O'Lakes, Fla. - With hurricane season now under way, the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation is reminding consumers, businesses and professionals to protect themselves following a natural disaster by hiring only licensed professionals to perform necessary repairs.


May 2014


Homeowners warned against hiring unlicensed contractors

WTSP 5/30/14

TALLAHASSEE, Florida -- Hurricane season is just two days away. If you're planning on getting work done to your home, the state wants you to get it done with a licensed professional.


Big risks involved with unlicensed AC repairmen

WMKG 5/20/14

Orlando, Fla. - Colen Thomas and his wife thought they were getting a great deal on a new air conditioner unit in their Tavares home.


Ken Lawson: Keep swimming pools safe

The Gainesville Sun 5/13/14

Gainesville, Fla. - For thousands of Floridians, swimming pools and spas are places for families to spend time together and have fun. As we recognize National Water Safety Month, it’s important to ensure that you and your loved ones are safe in and around pools and spas. Although it’s important to make sure that everyone knows how to swim and perform CPR, safety measures begin at construction. 


Be cautious when hiring contractors

guflbreezenews.com 5/9/14

Gulf Breeze, Fla. - Confirm that the contractor you choose is licensed to do business in Florida. You can verify a contractor’s license and check to see if there are any complaints against him or her by calling the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. You should also ask the contractor for references from previous work.


Storm victims beware potential scams

www.wtxl.com 5/1/14

Tallahassee, Fla. - A state agency is asking storm victims to be on guard and aware of potential scams. The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation is urging consumers to protect themselves from unlicensed workers offering to make repairs to their homes or businesses. 


DBPR to Consumers: Protect Yourself Following a Storm

www.wctv.com 5/1/14

Tallahassee, Fla. - On April 30, 2014, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 counties across Florida due to heavy rainfall and flooding. As a result of the declaration, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) is urging consumers to protect themselves from unlicensed individuals offering to make repairs on their homes or businesses.


April 2014


14 arrested in unlicensed contractor sting

www.news4jax.com 4/29/14

St. Johns County, Fla. - The suspects are accused of falsely identifying themselves as contractors, and a 15th suspect was charged with possession of cannabis.


Operation targeting unlicensed contractors in St. Johns County nets 15 arrests

www.jacksonville.com 4/29/14

A St. Johns County sting targeting unlicensed contractors ended with 15 arrests Monday and Tuesday after the men bid on repairs then showed up to do the work.


SJSO busts 14 unlicensed contractors

www.wokv.com 4/29/14

A two-week undercover sting has resulted in 15 arrests in St. Johns County.


Sting of unlicensed contractors nets 26

www.sun-sentinel.com 4/29/14

A joint state and county sting of unlicensed contractors netted 26 tradesmen, some of whom had been cited before, the Broward sheriff's office said.


BSO arrests 30 people in unlicensed contractor sting

www.local10.com 4/29/14

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. - Thirty people were arrested following a Broward Sheriff's Office investigation into unlicensed contractors committing fraud throughout the county. Several state and local agencies collaborated with BSO in the two-day operation last week.


No A/C permit is not cool and leaves owner on the hook

www.news-press.com 4/16/14

FT. MYERS , Fla. - Keeping a home in two places can be challenging. As snowbirds know, you need someone you can trust to look out for your northern home when you’re in Southwest Florida and someone to look out for the Florida house when you’re up north.


Fifteen issued cease and desist notices in Tallahassee construction sting


The DBPR Tallahassee Regional II Office conducted a construction sting March 25 -27. Fifteen suspects showed up at the undercover house and proposed to provide construction services, which included the removal and replacement of windows, removal and installation of a hot water heater and the removal and installation of an air conditioning system. 


Seven issued cease and desist notices in Duval County construction sting


The DBPR Jacksonville Regional III Office conducted a construction sting that consisted of roofing and HVAC advertisements on Craig’s List.


Unlicensed contractor busted for 3rd time

www.myfoxtampabay.com 4/4/2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - Erin Holdgate is feeling a bit cold after learning one of the contractors at her condo complex had no license to do any of the AC work.


Unlicensed contractor with history of similar crimes arrested in Sarasota

www.bradenton.com 4/4/2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - An unlicensed contractor has been arrested and charged with 34 new charges by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.


Man faces multiple counts of unlicensed contracting

www. sunnewspapers.com 4/4/2014

SARASOTA, Fla. - Authorities charged a Sarasota man Thursday with 33 felony counts of operating as an unlicensed contractor for allegedly taking thousands of dollars from a client by never pulling permits or performing any of the work, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.


March 2014

DBPR launches new mobile function for reporting unlicensed activity

www.jcfloridan.com 3/27/14

JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation recently launched the “Report Unlicensed Activity” function within the DBPR Mobile app, giving consumers the ability to report unlicensed activity in real time.


Report unlicensed business activity in real time

www.news4jax.com 3/27/14

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation now offers a way for you to report unlicensed business activity in real time.


DBPR launches new mobile function for reporting unlicensed activity


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) recently launched the “Report Unlicensed Activity” function within the DBPR Mobile app allowing consumers to report unlicensed activity in real time.


20 unlicensed contractors arrested in Polk County

www.wfla.com 3/7/2014

POLK COUNTY, Fla.- Polk County Sheriff's deputies went undercover to find unlicensed contractors performing work in the county.

February 2014


DBPR issues consumer advisory warning of unlicensed contractors

www.wtxl.com 2/6/2014

TALLAHASSEE (WTXL) – The Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) cautions consumers in the Tallahassee area to be on the lookout for unlicensed individuals who offer professional services requiring a state license. 


Sting nabs unlicensed contractors

www.wctv.tv 2/6/2014

TALLAHASSEE - A home on Bronough Street in Tallahassee was the site of a recent sting operation.


State regulation agency warns against participating in unlicensed combat sports

www.wctv.tv 2/7/2014

TALLAHASSEE - DBPR and the Florida State Boxing Commission (FSBC) are warning Floridians that unsanctioned combat sports events are unsafe and illegal in the state. 


State office issues warning about unlicensed combat sports

miamiherald.typepad.com 2/8/2014

Unlicensed combat sports are often undetected until someone files a complaint or gets hurt, so the state Department of Business and Professional Regulation has issued a cautionary note to warn consumers and amateur athletes about the dangers of these events, whether you're a participant or bystander. 


Polk sheriff warns of home repair scams

www.wfla.com 2/8/2014

POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd is reminding residents to watch out for and report any suspicious activity involving door-to-door home repair solicitors.


Gainesville/Tallahassee Sting Operations
Gainesville and Tallahassee stings operations.


January 2014


Catching unlicensed contractors

www.winknews.com 1/30/2014

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Our Call for Action team had been working with the city of Cape Coral for months in order to get an inside look at how unlicensed contractors get caught and now we have the exclusive video of how the city is fighting back to keep you safe.


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